Wherein I discover I’m not a martyr.

14 Aug

I have been babysitting since I was 10-years-old. That’s over half of my life, people. And I’m not talking, watch a kid for an hour every couple of weeks. I’m talking, if I were to sit down and calculate how many hours of my life were spent doing what, the care, keeping, and feeding of mass amounts of other peoples children would probably be second only to amount-of-time-spent-sweating-my-arse-off-in-ballet-studios.

I’ve babysat for 10+ children at a time (in the same sibling group). With rousing success. I have been peed on. Pooed on. Had my glasses smashed. But I prevail. I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but I’m kind of skilled. I don’t even LIKE kids that much. I like my siblings. I like my lovely godsiblings. I like my two nanny charges. That’s about it.  But I have a gift.

Last night, however?

I declared defeat, for the first time in my life.

The frantic-phone-call-to-the-parents-please-come-home-now kind of defeat.

I’m one of the go-to people in an agency I work with for child care involving behavioral special needs or issues related to adoption/foster care. I was keeping for one such family that I’ve worked with multiple times last night. We have a pretty good routine worked out. The kids have pajamas on, teeth brushed, etc. just before I get there, so we read stories, sing a few songs, and then I tuck them in for the night. Once they fall asleep I just catch up with friends, read, work on homework, etc. until 1 or 2 am when the parents get home.

Last night started out no differently. The lovely Calah called, and we chatted for a bit. It was after I hung up with her that things went a little…haywire.

One of the older children had gotten up a few times, which is really uncharacteristic for him. I sat in there with him for a few minutes, and just as he started to drift back to sleep a certain PTSD trigger for him occurred down the street. He jolted awake and HE. WAS. ANGRY. I took a deep breath, tried to talk him down a little, but he started launching remote control cars at my head.

With alarming force and accuracy.

And then one of the other siblings joined in.

Adding things like shoes.

And butter knives.

And furniture to the arsenal.

And waking the baby up.

I walked in to check on the baby and shut the door behind me, taking a minute to gather myself so I didn’t start yelling profanities at the kids, picked the baby up to calm him down, and he fell right back to sleep.

Except, the other kids busted the door open and started throwing things at me again. And one kicked me in the knees, and I had to fall. Holding the baby up at a truly bizarre angle to keep him from hitting the floor.

And I crunched something in my foot in the process.

It’s now swollen and nasty and painful. But the colors are kind of cool. I could probably take a picture and sell it as abstract art.

And I woke up this morning with a fever and what felt like a baseball lodged between my brain and my sinus cavity. My voice, which isn’t the most feminine of voices in the first place, sounds like a chain-smoking whiskey-shooting woman named Leroy. I tried to get ready for mass but ended up wailing in the shower floor instead.

Oh, let me tell you. It was ATTRACTIVE.

So, I am unashamed to admit that I hobbled to the kitchen, took gratuitous amounts of hot tea and ibuprofen, and went back to bed. Yeah, on a feast day. You’re right. I shouldn’t apply for martyrdom anytime soon.

So. . .happy Sunday!

. . .and unless you’re Kimberlie I’m not available to babysit anytime soon.


7 Responses to “Wherein I discover I’m not a martyr.”

  1. Kathleen August 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    OH, Kassie, hugs, hugs, hugs! And bless you for being willing to dive into a situation with these risks in the first place. Those parents are very lucky to have had you. Hugs.

  2. Michelle August 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Good news: The feast (assuming we’re both talking about the feast of the Assumption) isn’t until tomorrow! Your holiness is still in tact 🙂 haha.

    Blessings to you – get well soon!

  3. jaloru95 August 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I would’ve grabbed some furniture…and dropped it on their heads. This is why you’re the babysitter of the family, and I’m not.

  4. jen August 15, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    according to my sources, today was anticipating the feast so it also counts if you go tomorrow.

    not to mention… that kind of pain is a legit reason to skip mass. my rules (before pregnancy) were that unless i was in the hospital or in traction, i was at church. i think your sitch counts as being in traction.

  5. Kimberlie August 15, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    First, before I get to all the sympathy, you do have a gift! A seriously, huge, gift for caring for other people’s children. My kids don’t go to sleep for ANYONE but you. Seriously, they hardly even go to sleep for me or Paul. They have issues. But I know they will go to sleep for you even if one of them has called a sibling a “poopy-head” or worse and is angry. Thank goodness my kids have never thrown anything at you. It’s not occurred to me to be worried about that but now I am.

    Now for the sympathy. You POOR THING! I just can’t even imagine how I would have survived that on-slaught without hurting someone. Seriously. Do you get hazard pay? You should. You should go to the doctor. I am calling you right now.

  6. politicalhousewyf August 15, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m very sorry about your foot, but very happy to see you back online.

    I’ll second Kimberlie: do you get hazard pay?!?

  7. Calah Michelle Alexander August 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t believe that! Wow. I don’t even know what to say. And right when you got back into ballet! Dang.

    Have you gone to the dr? You should get your foot looked at.

    One time I babysat for twins with severe ADHD, and while they were supposed to be sleeping one of them managed to climb up on a very high shelf where there mother kept little keepsakes, including a pair of baby booties with extremely long laces. I walked in just as the child was turning purple, having tied the laces in a triple knot around his neck. It was immediately apparent that the knot would never come undone, so I grabbed scissors and sliced the laces. And then caught the poor kid as he nearly passed out when all the oxygen rushed back into his brain.

    When the parents got home, the mother was EXTREMELY UPSET that I had ruined such a special keepsake. She didn’t even pay me full price, she was so mad.

    That was the last time I babysat, ever.

    You are a better woman than I. I really would have thrown something back at the kids, although the fact that the boy had PTSD means that you definitely did the right thing. I guess “retaliatory attack by babysitter” would probably go under “things I have to work out in therapy” for the little guy.

    But in other news, I so enjoyed talking with you! And my phone is working again (hallelujah!) so I’ll call you this weekend.

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